​​I am certain that everyone has heard of the recent inspections of the detention facility in Clint, TX that is holding children in the most inhumane conditions imaginable. Underlining all of the recently exposed tragedies among these children are the reports that reveal that children are still being separated from their parents after the president signed an order to discontinue separating children from their parents in June of 2018.

It is shameful and outrageous enough that adults are forced to live in these overcrowded, unsanitary and deplorable conditions. It is even more appalling and inexcusable that children and babies are forced to live in these conditions.

As parents and family, we go above and beyond – sometimes to the point of extreme measures – to ensure that our children and family are warm, safe, comfortable, clean and healthy. Should we not desire the same for all children?

The recent report regarding the detention facility reveals the following atrocities:

1. The facility was originally designed for adult men and not for children
2. There were several outbreaks of influenza, lice and children quarantined due to other health conditions
3. The children’s clothing was stained, toddlers were not wearing diapers and were relieving themselves in their pants and children as young as 7 and 8 years old were wearing clothes caked with snot and tears
4. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk.
5. Most of the children have not been able to shower or wash their clothes since they arrived at the facility
6. The children do not have access to soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste
7. Children said they were waking up at night because they were hungry, and reports of children daily eating an inadequate diet
8. Children as young as 8 years old were caring for infants who were not biologically related to them

Unfortunately, these conditions will continue until, first, the humanity of the children is restored. For centuries, this country has used the tactic of dehumanizing groups of people for the purposes of justifying the inhumane treatment imposed upon them. When the humanity of a group of people is taken away (to be defined, as a group, as savages, animals, rapists, murderers, etc.), people can more easily justify treating them inhumanely. Consider the treatment of the following: the indigenous people of this country; the Africans who were brought to this country in chains for the benefit of free labor, and the aftermath of slavery including Jim Crow Laws, lynchings and disenfranchisement; Japanese Americans who were forced into concentration camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; and Muslim Americans who were mistreated after 911.

Second, until Men of Valor and Women of Virtue stand up, speak up and do something. Bishop Desmond Tutu reminds us, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

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